Messy Bun hats are the hot crafting trend of the winter season. They are everywhere and everyone is coming out with patterns. There is a way to take just about any hat pattern and turn it into a bun hat! The easiest way would be to start from the bottom up and just stop when you have enough space for your bun. Today we will explain how to use existing patterns and adjusting the pattern slightly to make them into these trendy bun hats.
The main idea of what you will need to do to create a bun hat is to leave an opening at the top that measures approximately 9 inches in circumference. To do this, you will need to take your gauge and figure out how many stitches per inch you will end up with and multiply that by 9 to figure out the number of stitches you need to leave at the crown of your hat. Keep in minds you may not be able to work the pattern to get EXACTLY 9 inches. You will have to look at your pattern and figure out where to start or end to get closest to this measurement. If you are working on a hat that is made from the top down, this would be the number of stitches you will start with, and if you are working from the bottom up, this would be the number to end with. For knitting, if you are working from the bottom up and ending with your opening, it will work nicely to do a few rounds of ribbing to help make your opening nice and stretchy and finish it off. We will use a few examples from free patterns we have available on our site.
For crochet, we will use our Puff Stitch Hat pattern for an example. This Puff Stitch Hat is worked from the top down, so we are starting with the “hole”. If you look at the gauge of 9 sts to 4″, you can take 9 sts and divide that by 4 to get your sts per inch (2.25) and multiply it by 9 (our desired hole size) and you will get 20.25 sts to equal a 9″ hole. This tells you that you need to start the pattern around the point you will have approximately 20 sts. Remember, it doesn’t have to be exact, just as close as you can. Rnd 3 ends with 18 sts, and Rnd 4 ends with 27 sts, so it would be up to you whether or not you want a hole larger or smaller, this could really depend on how much hair you have. I have a lot of hair, so I prefer a larger hole, so I am choosing to start with the stitch count of Rnd 4. To begin this adjusted pattern, we are going to ch 27, and slip stitch to join this chain, then ch 3 (counts as first dc) and dc in each st around. This will create a sturdy and reliable base for the pattern. After you have made this foundation round, you will follow the pattern as directed. Working from the brim up is much simpler, you just work until you have decreased to the point where your opening is as small or large as you want it, and stop.
For the knit version, we will look at the hat in the Arrowhead Cable Set. This is worked the opposite of the crochet hat, from the brim up. Again, you will take the gauge ( 10 sts to 4″) and do the math to get your sts per inch (10/2=5 sts per inch) and multiply that by 9 to get 45 sts. We want to end at a point where we have approximately 22 sts to get our desired hole size. Reading through the pattern, I can see that in Rnd 1 of the crown shaping, you end with 44 sts. This will work out great. I would work to this point, complete the round, then cast off. If the hat I was working was in stocking stitch, I may choose to work 2 or 3 rounds in k2 p2 ribbing to make a nice stretchy hole, but it isn’t necessary. If you were working the knit hat from the top down, just as crochet, you would do the math to figure out where in the pattern to start with the stitch count needed for your desired hole size.
Being able to modify a pattern to get a new item that you really want is really empowering and fun! We hope that you found this helpful and we would love to see how you turn your favorite hat pattern into a new trendy bun or ponytail hat, be sure to share!